The Betfair Ascot Chase is one of the standout Grade 1 National Hunt Steeplechase horse races of the year, taking place at Ascot over a distance of 2 miles and 5 furlongs. The race takes place in February each year, with the first of its kind having been run back in 1995. The likes of Riverside Theatre and Cue Card are among the past Betfair Ascot Chase winners, with many Cheltenham Festival hopefuls set to line up in February this year.
The race is open to chasers aged five years or older, however it is generally more experienced runners who are among the favourites. In fact, 21 of the first 25 winners of the Ascot Chase were aged over 8, with this being worth taking into consideration when looking at the Betfair Ascot Chase betting odds ahead of the meeting. In terms of successful trainers, Martin Pipe has four wins to his name, while Nicky Henderson sits just one behind the former Champion trainer thanks to his back-to-back wins with Riverside Theatre in 2011 and 2012.
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Betfair Ascot Chase 2019 (Sat. 16th February, 15:35)
The 2019 Betfair Ascot Chase takes place on Saturday 16th February, with the race set to get underway at 15:35. Despite the official race card having yet to be announced, as trainers make final decisions regarding some of their prized assets, a number of big names are expected to battle it out at Ascot ahead of potentially heading to Cheltenham in March.
Betfair Ascot Chase & Cheltenham Festival
Despite the estimated prize fund of £150,000, the main purpose of the Betfair Ascot Chase is acting as a trial ahead of the Cheltenham Festival, with many of the runners being eyed up for a potential shot at Ryanair Chase Glory.
Cue Card backed up his Ascot Chase win in 2013 by winning the Ryanair Chase just a matter of weeks later at Cheltenham, while the likes of Riverside Theatre and Kauto Star have also won at both venues in the same year.
Many Betfair Ascot Chase runners will be hoping that a good showing on February 16th will give them a chance of heading to Cheltenham in March 2019, with the meeting have acted as a good benchmark for trainers and owners to go upon.
Betfair Ascot Chase 2018 Winners
Waiting Patiently extended his unbeaten record to seven races in finishing as the winner in the Betfair Ascot Chase 2018, with the 2/1 pre-race favourite seeing off a strong finish from Cue Card in the process.
The duo finished well clear of the rest of the field, with Paul Nicholls’ Frodon eventually finishing in third position. Having seen his unbeaten run come to an end on Boxing Day at Kempton when jockey Brian Hughes was unseated, it could well be that Waiting Patiently gets another crack at the Cheltenham Festival in 2019.
|1||Waiting Patiently||Brian Hughes||Ruth Jefferson|
|2||Cue Card||Paddy Brennan||Colin Tizzard|
|3||Frodon||Bryony Frost||Paul Nicholls|